However, the same report by Hopper found that 39% of respondents plan to travel this year’s vacation, with three-quarters planning to get on a plane in December. And only 17% of these potential vacation travelers have booked their flights to date.
In other words, there’s a lot of (potentially) pent-up demand. If the respondents who say they want to travel but have not yet booked their tickets do so, we could see a sharp rise in prices, jam-packed planes and long security lines. That would be bad news unless you really want things to go back to normal.
My prediction: Many of these plans are wishful thinking. Some COVID-19 models predict that things will get worse by December. But even if infection trends stay the same, visiting relatives during the busiest travel season of the year remains a relatively risky endeavor. I expect (and hope) that many feet will get cold when the weather does.
Guesstimaybe # 2: Small town accommodation will be expensive
Those in desperate need of turkey or human company ready to fly this year will need shelter. Some will no doubt crash on the pull-out sofa as usual. But many will seek independent shelter to protect themselves and their families. And this is where things could get interesting.
I don’t expect the prices of hotels or vacation rentals in big cities, which have plenty of rooms for business travelers (before they died out), to rise sharply. However, small and medium-sized cities could experience a supply crisis as more vacationers than usual seek their own rooms this year.